The Androids, Belfast, Northern Ireland

The Androids, Belfast, Northern Ireland

Formed: Belfast, Northern Ireland

Punk band who played with many of the top local acts - Stiff Little Fingers, Rudi, The Outcasts, Victim, Ruefrex, Protex, er, Rhesus Negative - and were allegedly the first band to play a proper punk gig at the infamous Harp Bar. They were brought together via guitarist/vocalist Joe Zero's acquaintance with Greg Cowan of The Outcasts, when Cowan introduced him to bassist Aza, who was an English-born ex-public schoolboy. The lineup was expanded with the addition of guitarist Steve Rainey and drummer Billy McIlwaine, whose previous drumming experience was in an Orange band. Jokey early songs like the sadly unrecorded 'Wilma Is A Transvestite' soon gave way to songs with more serious subject matter, most notably 'Free Noreen', a protest song about the imprisonment of 21-year-old Noreen Winchester, who had stabbed her sexually abusive father to death and was sentenced to seven years' imprisonment for manslaughter (she was freed 18 months later following a campaign by women's rights groups).

They recorded a studio demo in early '78 and attempted to move to London in order to find a record deal, but came back empty handed. Even worse, they were were denied a spot in the famous Shellshock Rock documentary, for unknown reasons. The band split in two at this point, with Zero and Aza joining Victim. Middleton subsequently played with Colenso Parade and The Sinister Cleaners, and also worked with The Wedding Present.

Steve Rainey (guitar) and Billy McIlwaine (drums) carried on with a expanded lineup (five people instead of four) for the last year or so of its career, gigging at the usual punk places. This second lineup recorded 'Bondage In Belfast' for unreleased compilation LP, Ulster On A Thin Wire.


Lineup 1 (Autumn 1977 - July/August 1978)

Steve Rainey - guitar
Billy McIlwaine (aka Billy Britt) - drums
Joe Zero (Joe Moody) - vocals, guitar
Andrew "Aza" Middleton - bass, vocals

Recorded one studio demo in early 1978.

Lineup 2 (Late 1978 - late 1979)

Steve Rainey - guitar
Billy McIlwaine (aka Billy Britt) - drums
Jim Megarry - vocals
Jeremy Nichols - guitar
Robin Holmes (RIP) - bass



Extraneous Releases

The Androids - The AndroidsThe Androids (7", 2013)

The Androids - Bondage In BelfastLipstick Heroes '78 (7", 2014)

The Androids - Bondage In BelfastBondage In Belfast (7", 2018)

Various Artists

Good Vibrations: The Punk Singles Collection UK CD 1994 (Anagram): Bondage In Belfast

Bloodstains Across Northern Ireland UK LP 1998 (no label): Bondage In Belfast [bootleg]

Shellshock Rockers UK CD 2012 (Spit): Lipstick Heroes / Nine To Five / Terminal Breakout / Suggestions?



Spit Records


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